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26Phyllis Penzo

After a waitress named Phyllis Penzo at a pizzeria helped a customer choose the numbers for a winning lottery ticket in 1984, he ‘tipped’ her $3,000,000, which was half of his $6,000,000 prize money.- Source

27. In 1986, a nurse named Sandra Clarke could not stay with a patient who asked her to stay due to her busy schedule. When she returned, the patient had died alone. In 2001, she played a key role in starting a program called ‘No One Dies Alone’, in which volunteers sit with terminal patients who have no one else.- Source

28. In 1981, Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers after they refused to end their strike and subsequently banned them from federal service for life. - Source

29. In 1987, Corona sales plummeted when a rumor spread that their workers were peeing in their beer. The company traced its origins back to Heineken, whom Corona sued for $3 million in damages, but their reputation still suffered and their product was referred to as “Mexican piss water” for years. - Source

30. During the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, education about the disease was limited for political reasons. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop ended up infuriating members of both parties after he ordered that every home in America be mailed a letter explaining what AIDS was and how to protect themselves from it.- Source

31Tupac Shakur

In 1985, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore held a youth rap contest. The winner was a 14-year-old boy named Tupac Shakur. - Source

32. In 1981, Harvard professor Roger Fisher proposed implanting nuclear launch codes in a volunteer so that the President would have to kill an innocent person before starting the impersonal killing of millions. The Pentagon rejected the idea fearing the President would not go through with it even if it was necessary.- Source

33. In 1987, an American actress named Jamie Lee Curtis invented and patented a diaper modification, which had a moisture proof pocket containing wipes for easy access. She refused to allow it to be marketed until companies started selling biodegradable diapers. The patent expired in 2007 and it is now in the public domain.- Source

34. In 1986, the United Way released 1.5 million balloons in Cleveland as a publicity stunt. It clogged the land and waterways of North East Ohio, shut down an airport runway, and forced the Coast Guard to suspend a search and rescue of 2 men who ended up drowning. - Source

35. Studio Ghibli adopted a strict 'no edits' policy after a disastrous 1985 dub of 'Nausica of the Valley of the Winds'. On hearing Miramax would later try editing Princess Mononoke to make it more marketable, Studio Ghibli sent an authentic katana with a simple message: "No cuts".

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36Brain tumor

In 1984, a woman started hearing a voice in her head. The voice told her she had a brain tumor, where the tumor was, and how to treat it. Despite no other symptoms, doctors eventually ordered tests and found a tumor where the voice said it would be. - Source

37. In 1984, Michael Larson was a contestant on 'Press Your Luck'. Using the stop-motion on his VCR, he noticed that the presumed random patterns of the game board weren't actually random, and memorized the sequences. He won 45 consecutive spins and earned a total of $110,237 in cash and prizes. - Source

38. In the 1980s, Domino’s Pizza ran a campaign centered around a cartoon character named “The Noid.” It was discontinued in 1989 after a mentally ill man named Kenneth Noid took employees of an Atlanta Domino's restaurant hostage after he thought the ads were a personal attack on him.- Source

39. In the 1980s, the Naval Investigative Service undertook a massive and futile search for a woman named “Dorothy” in the Chicago area, after hearing gay men refer to themselves as “friends of Dorothy.” They believed that she was at the center of a ring of gay military personnel.- Source

40. On 23 August 1989, around 2 million people joined hands in a human chain that stretched 600 kilometres across the 3 Baltic countries, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. They did this to protest their countries’ forced inclusion in the Soviet Union.

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41Mike Hayes

In 1987, a man named Mike Hayes convinced 2.8 million people to send him a penny each for his college education. - Source

42. In 1985, John Fogerty of ‘Creedence Clearwater Revival’ band was sued for sounding like himself in his solo music album. The cost was $1.1 million in legal fees. He pushed it to the Supreme Court to fight the double standard of defendants not being awarded the fees and won, setting a precedent that defends artists from corporate sabotage.- Source

43. In 1980, 4 FBI agents went to the Census Bureau's Colorado Springs office with warrants but were forced to leave. Courts upheld that no agency, including the FBI, has access to Census data." - Source

44. In the 1980's, A&W tried to sell a third pounder burger to rival McDonald's quarter pounder. They sold it for the same price, but nobody wanted to buy it because the majority of people thought they were getting less meat (thinking a third [1/3] was lesser than a quarter [1/4]).- Source

45. In 1984, American actress Cynthia Nixon made her Broadway history by appearing in two Broadway plays at the same time. Her roles were short, and the two theaters were only two blocks away from each other, so she would run from one to the other. She was only 18 years old. - Source

46History exams

The Soviet Union cancelled history exams in 1988 because increased government transparency had revealed that the textbooks were filled with lies. - Source

47. In 1985, an American teenager named Ryan White was refused re-entry to his school due to him having AIDS. 117 Parents and 50 teachers petitioned for his ban. People even cancelled their subscriptions as White was the paperboy and they believed they would be infected via newsprint. - Source

48. In 1988, actor Jimmy Stewart made a plea in Congressional hearings against Ted Turner's decision to 'colorize' classic black and white films, including 'It's a Wonderful Life', stating 'It's morally and artistically wrong and these profiteers should leave our film industry alone." - Source

49. Muhammad Ali saved a man from committing suicide in 1981 by shouting at him 'I am your brother,' “I love you and I wouldn't lie to you ... I want to help you.”- Source

50. In 1983, a 61-year-old potato farmer named Cliff Young won a 544 mile endurance race because he ran throughout the night while the younger 'professional' athletes slept. - Source


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